Day 1: Puerto de Mogan, Agüimes, Pozo Izquierdo, Aeropuerto, Ingenio, Botanical Gardens, Las Palmas.
Day 2: Guayadeque, Embalse de Chira (Lake), Roque Nublo, Artenara.
Day 3: Artenara, Maspalomas.
We drove from Guayadeque to Embalse de Chira (one of the lakes) via Santa Lucía de Tirajana. While this route looks easy peasy on the map, it’s actually quite sqiuggley when you go round and round the mountains. Two fourths of our car (that’s half of us, for the mathematically challenged) were feeling sick, where the curves around and round the mountains just make me pass out into a deep slumber like your drunk uncle after Christmas lunch accompanied by 12 beers.
According to the map of Gran Canaria, there are three lakes next to each other, so we chose whichever one came first, which I believe was Embalse de Chira. We parked our car in a little nook off the side of the road and set up camp: towels, food, a book and an iPod. The lake is beautiful and clean, and easily swimmable once you get past the slushy, slimey bottom which you have to step on when you first climb in. The water was a perfect temperature, and when I did my usual ‘swallow half the bay’ when attempting a swim, it tasted clean and crisp. But you can probably swim better than I can. Then a duck appeared out of nowhere, which was weird and it came right for us, and by that I mean it waddled around a bit and was looking at me and it made me uncomfortable. Kate fed it some bread which was a bad idea, because within two minutes we counted 12 creepy starey ducks. It was time to leave.
Roque Nublo, one of the highlights of Gran Canaria was next on our list, and it didn’t disappoint. Daniel freaked out that we were going to miss out on sunset from the top, even though it was like 4pm so we rushed up for nothing, except maybe the exercise. The views of the mountains and the sky are incredible, and it’s fun climbing around the rocks at the top. Don’t do what we did and leave it till dark to climb down – it can get a little tricky. Roque Nublo is the place to be if you’re one of those annoying people who need 1000 photos of mountain views. You’ll be fucking swimming in it.
After a tricky climb down in the dark and me facing death several times (and by death I mean tripping over and landing on my hands), we went back to the car to stay the night in Artenara, a little town in Gran Canaria’s centre, which also happens to have a cave hostel (El Warung Cave Hostel) you can stay at. Artenara is a charming little town with little local bars and cafes, but on a Sunday night at 10pm everything was shut so sleep came pretty soon after.